I don't know many people, apart from Twitter, who follow the minor leagues. That pains me.
Sure, the minor leagues are full of has-beens and never-will-bes. And many, if not most, will never make the Show. But, as I pointed out to a friend recently, MLB needs MiLB. Before you say it, I know Mike Leake and Xavier Nady and a short list of other players went straight to the big leagues without playing in the minors, but only two players who have done it in the last 14 seasons.
So, the minor leagues are necessary.
My friend says he'll learn about major league rookies as they arrive and he doesn't care to follow the other players who may never get a shot.
But, he's missing so much.
He's missing the storylines inherent in the has-beens, and the never-will-bes. He's also missing the back story of the maybes and the journey of future stars.
With that said, maybe my concern is simply anecdotal. According to MiLB.com, more than 41 million fans attended games in 2013, an increase of nearly 275,000 over 2012. The same article says MiLB has drawn more than 41 million fans every season for nearly a decade.
So, maybe the game really is in good shape.
I do wonder though if the 85 percent who attend to soak up a little sun and enjoy the social aspect of the game is a higher number than it used to be. And if it is, are the other 15 percent (the diehards) doing our part to share the minor league gospel to reach more potential fans?